So, when the iPad announcement finally happened, I was intrigued. I was also very pregnant and looking for a mobile device to read books on. I'm an extremely fast reader and when I had Child1, I spent a lot of time nursing her and reading. And she took forever to eat, so I read A Lot. And there's nothing more annoying than finishing a book at 3am and having nothing else to read. So, I began looking for a mobile reading device so I could buy books any time I wanted. I evaluated the iPad, the Nook, and the Kindle.
I ruled out the Nook because of reviews that complained about page "turning" speed (though I really liked the Nook loaning books feature.) I ruled out the iPad almost immediately because of size and weight. At 10" and 1.5 lbs, it's too heavy to hold with one hand, which is the only number of free hands I have when dealing with a baby. I chose the Kindle.
(Interestingly, I use other devices to read my Kindle books. I also have a netbook and using the Kindle software, I read books on it as well as my iPhone. And it doesn't matter what device I use, they all know what page I'm on.)
Husband really wanted the iPad, reserved one, and stood in line for hours a week after Child2 was born to retrieve it. He loves it. He carries it everywhere.
Me? I'm not impressed and won't get one of my own. I've tried to like it, but I'm just not that cool. Here's what's stopping me:
- I already have a netbook. It runs Flash. And any other software I want on any browser I want.
- I have a smaller, more portable iPad already: it's called an iPhone. There's nothing the iPad can do that I want to do that I can't do on the iPhone.
- I found typing near impossible on it. I really tried to use it as my computer at home for a week and gave up after trying to write an email for an hour. The netbook has a tiny keyboard, but it still has real keys. (And I know that you could plug a keyboard into the iPad, but why?)
- Being able to watch streaming media on it was cool for a day, but I can get Netflix on our Blu-ray player which is hooked up to our 54" television, which is a much better experience.
One thing I really do like about the iPad is tactile web browsing. You want to look at something -- touch it. You want to zoom in on something, you expand it using your hands. It's much more enjoyable than a mouse. My fantasy future has this technology for all computers.